Analysis of Calorie and Micronutrient Consumption in Vietnam
Linh Vu Hoang
This paper analyzes calorie and micronutrient consumption in Vietnam using the recent household survey data collected in 2006. The data suggest that food insecurity is still a major problem in Vietnam, with nearly 40 percent of the population being unable to meet their calorie requirement. Employing nonparametric and parametric estimation techniques, the paper examines the relationship between household calorie consumption and per capita household expenditure in Vietnam. The analysis indicates a positive and significant relationship between per capita expenditure and per capita calorie consumption. The mean calorie elasticity is estimated to be between 0.21 and 0.31 by the parametric method and 0.20 by non-parametric method. In addition, simulated income and food price changes indicate that undernutrition is very responsive to changes in income and food prices. This paper also estimates protein and micronutrient elasticities, an area often overlooked in empirical studies. Estimates of expenditure elasticities of micronutrients are high, ranging from 0.3 for iron and calcium, to nearly 0.7 for vitamin C and 0.8 for vitamin A. This implies that income growth leads to large increase in household micronutrient intakes, particularly for vitamin intakes.
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